It's rainy outside and on the cool side, so it seems like the perfect time to share this recipe for Burmese chicken noodle soup. I think most Americans know how to make a basic chicken noodle soup at home. If your first thought is "get the can opener out and dump soup in pot", well then you need to email me and I will share with you how to make homemade chicken soup or perhaps that will be for a post on another day. Canned chicken soup just doesn't cut it for nutritious value or taste, especially when the homemade stuff is about as easy as it gets to make a homemade meal.
Okay, back to the Burmese chicken noodle soup. I mentioned over the summer that I was trying to incorporate a lot more spice and different cooking techniques into my regular cooking routine. Since we've been so busy over the last couple of months, this hasn't happened nearly as much as I'd hope, but better late then never! This recipe comes from the cookbook Curry Cuisine, which I originally checked out at the local library. I ended up loving it so much that after the library wouldn't let me renew the book anymore and a pile of late fees had added up, I went ahead and purchased the book for an excellent price on Amazon.
This is a full flavored soup and is a meal in itself. Don't let the chicken noodle soup part trick you into thinking this is going to be something like grandma makes. No, it truly has it's own, delicious flavor and the kiddos and the husband loved it!
What You'll Need
For the Soup
6 oz (175 g) round rice noodles
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, but into bite-size pieces
1 tbsp. fish sauce
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp chopped turmeric root or 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 large red chili, seeded and chopped
1¼ cups thick coconut milk
2 tbsp peanut oil
1 quart (liter) chicken stock
3-4 tbsp chickpea flour, dissolved in ½ cup cold water
For the Garnish
hard-boiled eggs, quartered
1 red onion, thinly slice, soaked in cold water for a few minutes and then drained
slices of lemon
crushed dried chilies
chopped cilantro leaves
Getting Started1. Cook the rice noodles in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water. Set aside for using later.
2. Rub the chicken with the fish sauce and set aside.
3. Using a blender or a food processor, blend together the onion, garlic, ginger, turmeric and chili until smooth. Then add 3 tbsp of the coconut milk or stock to make a paste.
4. In a large saucepan heat peanut oil (I actually used coconut oil) and then fry the paste you just made over moderate heat for several minutes. Stir constantly.
5. Add the chicken to the saucepan and stir-fry with the paste for an additional 2-3 minutes. Add half of the chicken stock and bring to a boil and cook the chicken for 8-10 minutes longer.
6. In another pan or pot heat the rest of the chicken stock to a boil and then add the dissolved chickpea flour. Stir to get rid of any clumps. Allow the stock to thicken then pour through a sieve into the large saucepan that contains the cooking chicken.
7. Stir everything together and bring to a boil once again. Then stir in the remaining coconut milk. Taste the soup and add salt or more fish sauce in needed.
8. Reheat the rice noodles by pouring bowling water over them. Place noodles into individual bowls and pour soup over top. Allow each person to garnish their soup as they'd like.